Everything for Electronics

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2019 Issue-6

Nuts and Volts Magazine


MakerPlot – The DIY Software Kit

DIYgraphical software for your microcontroller projects.

DIY Biotech: Gel Electrophoresis

Solve your own DNA mysteries with gel electrophoresis.

Nextion Touch Screen Display — Part 1

Bring your projects into the 21st century with a touch screen display.

You Don’t Have to Be an Engineer to Design Your Own Electronic Circuits

Do your own designs with a little direction.

REVIEW: Dr. Duino’s Starter Kit for the Arduino Uno

Make breadboarding with the Arduino Uno more robust and trouble-free.

UV Sanitizer: How to Build One and Measure Its Efficacy

Build a UV sanitizer from a UV LED panel and a small reflective enclosure.

AC Volt/Amp Meter with Web Interface

Self-contained volt/amp meter that displays the values on a webpage via a Raspberry Pi.

CNC Routers: Backlash

Whether you own or intend to build/buy a CNC router, make it a habit to routinely check for backlash.

Four-Position HF Antenna Switch with PC Control

Make your ham life easier with a PC controlled antenna switch.

Parallel Processing with the Propeller FLiP

Take an in-depth look at the Propeller FLiP board from Parallax.

The Discovery of Radio Waves

Take a look back at how the serious study of radio waves was launched.

Getting Started in DIY Modular Synthesis

A mini tutorial on how to build your own modular synthesizer system.

The Radio Station that Bridge Built

A fun historical look at how radio broadcasts promoted the game of Bridge.

More Tricks with Old-School Digital Clocks

Variations and suggestions for building discrete-logic clocks.

Libraries and Headers in C: A Tutorial

Learn how software utilizes libraries, and how you can create your own.

A Discussion on dBs and RF Power Meters

Learn basic theory on the decibel and build an affordable RF power meter at the same time.

Monitor Motion from a USB Webcam

Take a look at how this highly configurable and stable monitoring system works.

C Preprocessor Reduces Debug Headaches

Take advantage of C preprocessor operations.

DIY Biotech: A Spectrophotometer for Measuring Bacterial Growth

Work with a spectrophotometer using E Coli.

Getting Started in DIY Modular Synthesis — Part 2

Take a look at five synthesis building blocks.

A Real-Time Operating System for the Arduino

Have multiple functions running in your sketch at the same time.

DIY Biotech: Open Source PCR Thermocycler

#2 in a series of DIY Biotech articles.

Five More Projects for Your Amigo

New projects for Mentor’s Friend retro computer owners to explore programming and hardware interfacing with.

Circuit Simulation Made Easy

Learn a simple numerical method that is intuitive and solves many complex circuit problems with just a few lines of code.

An Elegant Approach to Design a Variable Voltage Divider

These design ideas for voltage dividers really add up.

LEDs for Operational Status and Troubleshooting

Get flashy with your troubleshooting methods.

A Simpler Current Limiter

Using light bulbs to limit current.

Copper Cobweb Circuit Construction

Bored with two-dimensional circuit layouts? Here’s a way to jazz it up.

Your Amigo Does Bluetooth

Explore Bluetooth using the Amigo breadboard and Color BASIC serial interface.

Discovering the NESCAF

Review of a surprisingly simple yet powerful audio filter kit.

Restoring the Heathkit ES-400 Computer

Refurbishing the “Big Kahuna” of Heathkits.

Microcontrollers, Software, and You

There’s no excuse for not learning how to program microcontrollers.

Turn Your Computer’s Sound Card into a Scope

Use this free software tool to gain oscilloscope skills, analyze audio signals, and measure digital signals.

Microcontrollers, Software, and You — Part 2

Learn how to program microcontrollers.

For IoT Projects, Call JSON

Learn how to create and parse JSON messages.

An ESP8266 Live Wi-Fi Webcam

Build a live webcam using the ESP8266 and an Android phone.

DIY Biotech: Genetic Engineering with the DNA Playground

Modify E. coli bacteria to produce proteins of your choice.

Nextion Touch Screen Display — Part 2

Tutorial on including touch screens into your homebrew projects.

Nextion Touch Screen Display — Part 3

Tutorial on including touch screens into your homebrew projects.

Dark Energy and the Expanding Universe

Explore concepts such as energy density and negative pressure as it relates to our universe.

Learn to Send and Receive Morse Code with the Morserino-32

Review of the Morserino-32 CW Trainer.

The Story of the Transistor

A journey through the history that led to the most important invention of the 20th century.

1920s Radio Applause Cards

Back in the 1920s, the penny postcard quickly became the preferred medium by broadcast radio stations for listener reports.

Newton’s Apple

A fun spin on the classic falling body experiment to measure the acceleration of gravity.

Implementing Circuits on Protoboards

How do you go about building on a protoboard? Here’s how.


An ESP32 / Teensy 3.5 Super Clock

Improving on my previous Internet Digital Clock

Another ESP32 Digital Clock

Adventures with two cores and the ESP32

Building a Programmable Thermostat with a Nextion LCD Display

Customizing a thermostat for a simple forced air heating/cooling system.

Build an Internet Digital Clock

Time to build this digital clock that connects via Wi-Fi to the Internet to not only display the usual time, date, temperature, and humidity, but to also be able to retrieve things from the Internet like the weather or weather forecast and stock market reports as well.

Build a Variable Voltage Reference

While most voltage references only generate a single voltage, this design offers variable voltage from zero to 10 volts.

Build a Pocket-Sized Altair Computer

Make a retro PC that fits in an Altoids tin.

Build the Laser Pencil Engraver

Customize pencils for friends and family.

Build the Graphing Thermometer

This project joins an Arduino CPU, some temperature/humidity sensors, and a real time clock (RTC) module to a large (3.5 inch) high-resolution color LCD graphics display to create a fun and useful graphing thermometer.

Build the NixieStar Clock

Construct this elegant and intricate timepiece.

Build an Oscilloscope Octopus

This general-purpose test instrument is invaluable in troubleshooting.

Build a Digital Light Saber

Create “light graffiti” with this fun project.

Build a Fun Stylophone

This unique musical gadget makes learning how to write fun!

Build a Headphone Amplifier — Times 3!

Choose from three different headphone amps to suit your needs.

Build an RF Frequency Counter Buffer for HF

This RF buffer is a handy tool you’ll remember every time you use a frequency counter.

Build a Small Powerful Dummy Load

Use this device for testing that costs less than $5 to make.

Build a Radio Pet Tracker

Keep up with your pet with this homemade tracker.

Build a Pocket-Sized Vacuum Cleaner

Make this mini vacuum you can take anywhere.

Build an Audio Loop System

Creating a Telecoil installation for your home.

Build a 3D Printer Filament Scale

Always be sure you have enough filament for your print job with the Spool-Scale!

A Semiconductor-Based High Voltage Utility Power Supply

A utility supply like this has a small footprint on the bench and supports a wide range of experiments with tube circuits.

Build a Castle in the Clouds

Build your own levitation device.

Build a Configurable Clock/Timer

You’ll be “alarmed” at all the cool features this unit has!

Circuits for a Day at the Races

With a little amount of expertise in electronics, there are many accessories we can build ourselves to add to our slot car racing hobby.


The Ham’s Wireless Workbench
by H. Ward Silver
The rotator is worth installing carefully and being treated with care. After all, your ham radio success turns on them!

The Ham’s Wireless Workbench
by H. Ward Silver
The Smith Chart
Unravel the mysteries of transmission lines with this unique chart.

Open Communication
by Louis E. Frenzel
Dirt Cheap Wireless Control
Have some fun experimenting with the wireless modules available out there for short-range applications.

by Kristen McIntyre
Electronics Q&A (01.2019)
Read about girding for battle, battle language, who needs wires, and adrift in time.

by Kristen McIntyre
Electronics Q&A (02.2019)
Questions on “firebottle” (tube) gain and attenuating calculations.

by Kristen McIntyre
Electronics Q&A (03.2019)
Questions on turn-signal light bulb flashing rates, specs on ignition cell batteries, and version control systems.

Near Space
by L. Paul Verhage
Cosmic Rays Redux
All about muons and the detector I used to measure their flux.

Open Communication
by Louis E. Frenzel
Waiting for 5G Wireless
A status report on 5G to bring you up to speed.

Open Communication
by Louis E. Frenzel
Whatever Happened to these Wireless Technologies?
A list of “forgotten” standards and services.

Open Communication
by Louis E. Frenzel
IoT Made Easy
It’s getting easier than ever to make your own stuff to connect to the Internet via IoT.


New Products (01.2019)
SBC TS-7180 in Engineering Sampling, New Generation of Value Instruments, Real Time Streaming.

New Products (02.2019)
Modern Build System, Series of Spectrum Analyzers, Compact Isolation Transformer.

New Products (03.2019)
TC Measurement Hat for Pi, PC Controlled Antenna Tuners, Hands-Free Voltmeter, 3 Series MDO and 4 Series MSO, Package Pricing Basic Test Equipment, No Assembly Fees on Five PCBs, RPi Enclosure with Touchscreen, 4 mm Inline Fuse Adapter.

New Products (05.2019)
Digital Microscope, Radiometrix LoRa, Multi-Channel Transceiver, 8 mm REX Pinion Gears, 5 mm HTD Timing Belts.

New Products (06.2019)
Icon-Based Data Acquisition Software, Mini AC Dual Balance Charger, Dual Mode Servo, Hyper Coupler, Ball Bearing Carriage, Multiple RPM Support, FPGA/SOC Dev Board, H-Bridge Motor Control, Battery-Powered Portable O'scopes.

The Ergonomics of Learning
by Bryan Bergeron
Having the right tools for different people.

How to Learn CW
by Bryan Bergeron
There is merit in learning and using CW, and it’s more convenient than ever.

RIP: Terrestrial AM Radio
by Bryan Bergeron
Routines and methods are changing in how folks get their news and music delivered.

The Challenging Life of Urban Hams
by Bryan Bergeron
Being an amateur radio operator within city limits can be a hassle.

Death, Taxes, and Exposure to Electromagnetic Radiation
by Bryan Bergeron
Use common sense when it comes to EMR exposure.

Respiratory Masks
by Bryan Bergeron
Respiratory masks should always be part of your safety tool arsenal.

Reader Feedback (01.2019)
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Reader Feedback (05.2019)
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Reader Feedback (06.2019)
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